Happy Glass: Inside Ben Silver’s Lavish Minimalism

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Though he couldn’t imagine another path for himself now, it was a random twist of fate that first got Ben Silver into glasswork. After returning home to Rochester, New York from the Navy, Silver saw a television commercial about glassmaking and impulsively signed up for an introductory class. He was instantly smitten, but it took a few more years until he was able to commit himself to his new affinity. By 2007, he had moved to Oregon, and ultimately decided to enroll at the Eugene Glass School. About a year later, his company, Bendini Glass, was born. With more than a decade in the game, Silver has been around to see a lot of changes in the glass industry and in his own work as his inspirations and artistry evolved. But there’s one thing that’s never changed: his commitment to improving his craft and making quality pieces that people love. For him, it’s important for his work to not just be well-made, but also be aesthetically pleasing. “I’ve always wanted to make pieces that encapsulate the feeling of happiness when you look at them,” he shares. “For a lot of people, there always has to be a deeper meaning behind a piece. I just want it to be beautiful. I think that’s enough.” He describes his work as “colorful,” which is evident in his bright, eye-catching pieces. He likes to create bold lines and clean edges, utilizing hot-working and cold-working techniques that enhance the glass’s natural elegance. It’s a skill he uses to produce paperweights, vases and votive holders. He even works part-time for the Oregon-based company Noble Glass, which specializes in producing soft glass bongs. “I do a lot of cold-working, which is the process of cutting, grinding and polishing glass,” he explains. “I also really enjoy the process of being able to…

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